David L. Coppola, Tenth President of Keystone College
Dr. David L. Coppola was the tenth president and nineteenth leader of Keystone College since 2013. As president, he worked to continue the 150-year legacy of excellence in education for which Keystone is known. In particular, he led the College and the faculty to a new level in academic offerings in master’s degrees and expanded adult and online educational offerings, while remaining committed to improving the quality undergraduate experience for every Keystone student.
Dr. Coppola was especially interested in undergraduate student success and spearheaded the Keystone College “Stairs to Success Program,” a four-year developmental plan for student success, resulting in the Presidential Fellows and the Center for International Studies. His encouraging presence at academic capstone presentations, student activities, and community events can attest to his commitment to cultivating an ever-increasing and inclusive community of mutual respect for the entire College community.
Building upon Keystone’s proud past and leading the College to a promising future by reinforcing the campus-wide commitment to the Keystone Promise that places student engagement and student success first, as well as working to keep Keystone accessible and affordable, the College continued to grow and improve under Dr. Coppola’s leadership by renovating Brooks Theater, the Hibbard Student Center, and adding a state-of-the-art Athletic Track and Field, the Eckel Family Pavilion, the Elmer Hawk Veteran’s Center, and numerous learning/living spaces.
Before serving at Keystone College, Dr. Coppola served as Vice President of Strategic Planning and Administration and Executive Director of the Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut, since 1998. He had taught at Sacred Heart in the departments of Religious Studies and Education, and at Fordham University, New York, in the Graduate Schools of Education and Religious Education.
Dr. Coppola received his Ph.D. from Fordham University and wrote his dissertation on moral leadership in schools. A past Consulting Editor for the Sacred Heart University Review, Dr. Coppola has written on education, religion, leadership and youth issues. Representative publications include: “Then and Now: 10 Advances in Christian-Jewish Understanding Since Nostra Aetate” (1999), With My Last Breath Let Me See Jerusalem: Memoirs of Holocaust Survivor Leo Neuman (2000), Religion and Violence, Religion and Peace, editor with Joseph H. Ehrenkranz (2001), a book review on Papal Sin: Structures of Deceit by Gary Wills, in Catholic Education Journal (March, 2002), Religion, Violence and Peace, Continuing Conversations (2004), What Do We Want the Other to Teach About Us? (2006), and “Towards a Theoretical Framework for Participating in Interreligious Dialogue and Education” (2011).
A teacher and crisis intervention counselor of elementary and high school students for more than 30 years, Dr. Coppola has spoken at hundreds of workshops and days of renewal for teachers and church groups and he has served as a youth consultant to YMCA groups. More recently, his focus has been on developing programs to educate young leaders of the Abrahamic faiths in intercultural dialogue. Dr. Coppola lives with his wife, Delia, and their two sons on the campus of Keystone College.